The investigation on the brutal attack on Luca Isoni, a 37-year-old disabled who was beaten in front of a nightclub in San Teodoro, a well-known Sardinian tourist resort, continue. He had been beaten up by a 27-year-old man from Sassari, with specific precedents. The young man was identified and denounced. Nevertheless, the work of law enforcement has not finished yet. In addition to reconstructing the story, they will also have to identify the six people who witnessed the lynching without intervening. Actually, someone has even made a video of what was happening with their smartphone. They did so for fun, then posted the video on social networks, as if it were a trophy to show off. A true slap in the face of dignity, in which violence and cynicism mingle.
Luca’s story has reopened the debate on the conditions in which people with disabilities are living in Italy. As if physical barriers, indifference or the widespread pietism in the way we look at these people were not enough, there are also severe episodes of intolerance. The parents of the disabled are the most concerned, wondering what will be their children’s fate when they are no longer able to take care of them. The recent progress made on the regulatory level and the increasing social inclusion of the disabled people are not enough to reassure and comfort. As long as they are here, they say, the child will have no problems. But what is going to happen afterwards?
To give an answer to this question, in 2005 was created the Foundation Onlus “House Keys”, aimed at helping the disabled to separate from their families of origin and become independent, despite the physical limitations they have to live with. “These projects help children to acquire skills that allow them to become more independent – the Social Editor responsible for the communication and collection of non-profit funds, Daria Casali, said -. It is not that they did not have them before, but as it happens for all of us, their mother did the dishes, the laundry, and cleaned the house. Whereas at home you are the one who does them and these young men know how to do these things. It is great to see that grow up and do it themselves. Moreover, thanks to the foundation, where all decisions are taken by families, there are also other parents who constantly monitor them, even when their own parents pass away.”
At present, “House Keys” runs three houses in Bologna, one in Castel Maggiore, and two more in Granarolo. The project is aimed, first and foremost, to the children of the founders. The others can access based on criteria shared with the services of the Social Health District of North Plain. This, for the moment, excludes the participation of people with severe disabilities. But its future goal is to make it available to whoever requests it.
The “housemates” are not abandoned to their own devices on their path towards total independence from their families. A domestic worker, a professional educator, and an administrative employee live together with them. All this aims to avoid the trauma of the emergency placement of the disabled who loses their parents all of a sudden. The young men begin a process of autonomy acquisition, continuing to see their families on weekends, as long as it is possible, and these things prepare them to a gentler separation. Another positive aspect is the low number of people inside the apartment. It allows you to create and maintain a family atmosphere and high life standards.
Over time, these young people with disabilities adapt to a life that makes them feel more like their more fortunate peers. They become able to take care of themselves alone. “Girls work, take the bus, run, and are very autonomous. In fact, last month, when their caregiver went on vacation, we have not replaced her. The girls were left alone and the educator came only in the afternoon” Casali explains. The real problem, she adds, is to handle their parents. On the one hand, moms and dads are happy that their children have this opportunity, on the other hand, when the time comes, they often prove not to be ready for it. They are afraid that their children will not receive all the necessary attention. This attitude, which is comprehensible from a human point of view, represents a threat that might undermine the effectiveness of the project. Therefore, the foundation is planning to launch professionally assisted paths for the families to help them metabolize the separation.